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Color stability of semitendinosus, semimembranosus, and biceps femoris steaks packaged in a high-oxygen modified atmosphere

Behrends, J.M., Mikel, W.B., Armstrong, C.L., Newman, M.C.
Journal of animal science 2003 v.81 no.9 pp. 2230-2238
carbon dioxide, color, discoloration, lipid content, meat carcasses, modified atmosphere packaging, muscles, physicochemical properties, poly(vinyl chloride), steaks
The objectives of this study were to evaluate visual and chemical attributes of beefsteaks from various USDA quality grades and muscles packaged in high-oxygen (80% O2/20% CO2) modified-atmosphere packaging (MAP). A total of nine carcasses were selected to represent Select (n = 3), low Choice (n = 3), and high Choice (n = 3) USDA quality grades. The semimembranosus (SM), semitendinosus (ST), and biceps femoris (BF) muscles were removed from each carcass and allotted to two packaging types (MAP or polyvinyl chloride over-wrap) and were displayed for up to 10 d, with evaluation on d 1, 3, 5, 7, and 10. Fifty-four steaks were evaluated on each day by a five-member trained panel for visual color (lean color and discoloration) and were also analyzed with a Minolta Chroma Meter CR-310 for L*and a* values (lightness and redness, respectively). Chemical properties measured included percentage of metmyoglobin formation and fat content. Visual color scores did not differ (P > 0.05) at d 1 and 3 with respect to all quality grades, but decreased after d 3, with a greater reduction (P < 0.05) in high Choice steaks for both lean color and discoloration. The low Choice steaks packaged in MAP displayed higher (P < 0.05) lean color scores and less (P < 0.05) discoloration at d 7 and 10 than did Select and high Choice steaks. Redness (a*) values also decreased (P < 0.05) after d 3, whereas (lightness) L* values declined (P < 0.05) from d 1 to 5. The high Choice steaks had higher (P < 0.05) metmyoglobin content than low Choice and Select steaks, but packaging had no effect (P > 0.05) on metmyoglobin content. Muscle type did affect metmyoglobin content; however, the metmyoglobin content of the SM was greatest (P < 0.05), followed by the BF, with the ST having the lowest (P < 0.05) metmyoglobin formation. Results indicate that low Choice steaks react the best in MAP, and the ST maintained greater storage characteristics regardless of quality grade or packaging.